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10 May 2007 Edition

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Dáil General Election Profile: Shaun Tracey, Dublin South

Shaun Tracey – who is contesting Dublin South with fellow Sinn Féin candidate Sorcha Nic Cormaic – is a plumber by trade and a member of the AEEU trade union.
Aged 26, he recently joined the Sinn Féin team at Leinster House as a press officer.

What has influenced me most in becoming a political activist is...
The treatment of nationalist people in the Six Counties, particularly during the Civil Rights campaign. I’m too young to have witnessed the Civil Rights Movement or internment without trial but reading about it as a young teenager really touched a nerve.

The people who have inspired me the most are...
My mother for bringing up five children in very difficult circumstances while at the same time becoming a leader and a voice for her community. I’m the second eldest and I just don’t know how she found the time.
And Bobby Sands for his vision, his leadership, his courage and his determination but, most importantly, for the opportunities opened up to the Republican Movement and the Irish people by the sacrifice of Bobby and his nine comrades and all the prisoners in Long Kesh and Armagh Women’s Prison who fought criminalisation.

I think people in power should pay more attention to...
The ever-growing gap between those who have and those who have not. The Celtic Tiger has left too many people behind and those in power place too much emphasis on improving the quality of life for those who have rather than prioritising on the basis of need.

If there was one thing I could get done in Dublin South overnight it would be to...
Deliver houses for the more than 3,500 families on the housing waiting list in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown.

The six famous people I think would be interesting guests at a dinner party would be...
James Connolly, Che Guevara and Nelson Mandela, then Maggie Thatcher, Adolf Hitler and George W Bush. That should make for a lively night.

My most memorable book...
Eyewitness Bloody Sunday, by Don Mullan. It gives such a graphic account of what happened that day in Derry through the eyes of so many of the people who witnessed it. To think that Saville disregarded these statements on the basis that he believed the soldiers who had already testified is quite shocking.

My favourite music is...
Right now I’m listening to The Fray but I do a great live performance of I’m a Believer by the Monkees!

In another life, I would probably be...
Working 9 to 5 with weekends off.

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